Utopian Permaculture Farms Look Like Fantastical Floating Islands

by , 04/27/11

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Dietmar Koering, Bakema Foundation, Netherlands Architecture Institute, A10, utopian farming system, roof top farming, Floating Permaculture, wind energy, solar energy

Floating Permaculture offers a solution to the inevitable depletion of fossil fuels and its effect on food.  “Normal” farming as we know it puts a strain on fossil fuels, as produce is often trucked hundreds of miles to consumers, which contributes to traffic, air pollution and carbon emissions. Koering feels that recent alternative methods, like rooftop farming, will still not be enough to sustain the population, as not every roof can support a farm or produce enough food.

The idea of a permaculture loop originates from the Aztecs, who sought to create self-sufficient farm systems. The multilayered floating farms draw energy from alternative resources, outfitted with solar receivers, wind turbines and wave turbines. Wastewater and rain water are filtered naturally, through either an algae farm and subsequent reactor, or through a filter system using zebra mussels, and then re-circulated to nourish the organic produce. The zebra mussels also provide nourishment for fish and chickens which are raised on the mass. The excrement from the fish and other animals is used to fertilize the rice paddies, which in turn feed the chickens – as does the excess algae from the water purification system. Each feeds the next.

One problem of this idealistic system is that the current technology that harvests wind and sun energy cannot maintain or store enough energy to sustain the permacultures.  A hydrogen-fuel cell can help generate the necessary energy, which can then be stored in a hydro-electric power-plant.

This fantastical floating utopia may seem like a science fiction movie from the 1960s now, but could be a viable option in the future if our natural resources do in fact run out.  Complex self-sufficient and looped systems may be the answer to food production if traditional farming is no longer an option.

+ Floating Permaculture

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  1. Hyncharas April 28, 2011 at 5:31 am

    I do have my own concept for a fleet of floating, sustainable cities (among other things) that would circumnavigate the globe, although even if I’ve never heard of Permaculture, I think it’s a lot closer to practical application than this approach might be.

  2. ecologicdesign April 27, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Umm. No. This is pretty much the antithesis of permaculture.

    Our techno-utopian fantasies do not provide real solutions for the present and tend to promote abdicating our responsibility to make the sufficient changes required in our society.

    Permaculture as I have studied, practiced and witnessed it offers REAL solutions for our present situation. Read about it and get your head out of the clouds – Earth is calling.

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